Lake James, NCLake James, NCLake James, NCLake James, NC
Communities on Lake James, NC
Architectural Control Committee / Habitat Review Board.
 Lake James Communities


Although the ACC and HRB concentrate on the design of projects proposed for our communities, it is only the beginning.  At some point the design must be transformed into the physical world.  This transformation is generally accomplished by a General Contractor, making the GC an important part of the project.  The performance of the GC can make a project a successful or an unsuccessful one.

A successful project is gauged by more than the final outcome.  In the end the project must be built per the approved design, and ultimately the lot owner is responsible to the ACC/HRB, and in turn the contractor is responsible to the lot owner.  A successful project only happens when care is taken during the design and the construction phases.  Designs that do not thoroughly consider all aspects of the construction process, living or using the structure when complete, and being integrated into its environment can create serious conflicts and errors that serious degrade the successfulness of the project.  All the lot owners have a vision of their retreat on the lake and to fall short of this is to traumatically dash their dreams.  To reach their vision is to is something that everyone involved can be proud of.

The construction process is a time consuming endeavor that effects the natural habitat, the community facilities (roads, drains, signage,...), and the other residents of the community.  No construction takes place in a sterile environment, without any noise, deliveries, debris, or traffic.

Being on the approved contractor list is a sign of being able to build a quality structure, per the approved plans, and follow the requirements of the Development Guidelines and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and treat the lot owners with the good business ethics and professionalism.  Construction is a business, not a favor, and not a con-game.  Good contractors deserve in return to treated professionally and ethically.  These regulations establish standards for noise (including radios), parking, debris, trash, and damage to the natural environment and the community facilities, including roads to protect and preserve the community and to create an atmosphere where residents and construction can co-exist.  Sub-contractors must to adhere to these  requirements as well.  The ACC/HRB will enforces these requirements as needed, all the way to the extreme extent of major fines to lot owner and removal of the contractor from the list of approved builders.

Building within the requirements is usually just am a matter of caring.  Caring takes effort, but it makes the difference between a construction site that is respectful of the environment and admired by the residents, and one that is held in distain.  A clean and neat construction site is also a safer construction site. 

Everyone involved on the site must be concerned with their impact on the site, which remains well after the GC or 'sub' is gone.  For example, not fencing off tree roots and protecting tree trunks lets delivery trucks damage the forest close to the house and the driveway.  Another example is painters and dry wall finishers that use the house plumbing system to clean their tools.  (the driveway should not be used either.)  Paint and cleaners can destroy a a septic field requiring its total repair.  I've been told that a septic tank contaminated with paint cost $2800 to pump, clean, and dispose of in a toxic materials disposal site! (ouch!).  I've also been told that there are very effective ways to recycle paint thinner for re-use since when left un-agitated, the paint and thinner separate.  Dry wall 'mud' can clog pipes and drain fields.  The reason are septic system requirements are so high is that we also want/require extensive landscaping and re-planting.  Who wants to put tens of thousands of dollars into re-vegetating just to tear it up in ten years because an avoidable error caused a septic field to fail?

Here are examples of the most common violations:

  • Verbal Approval

Approvals by the HRB/ACC are only in writing from someone one HRB/ACC with authority to write the approvals, such as the HRB/ACC Manager.  Verbal approvals don't count.  You may use a verbal approval to make plans, but digging, clearing, building, cutting etc are done only with design approval in writing in advance.
  • Cutting trees that should not have been removed.

All trees and shrubs are considered valuable and protected, especially in the Protected Lake Buffer.  Some of these trees adn shrubs can be removed, and sometimes need to be removed, but must be done so with approval of the HRB/ACC in advance, and in writing.
  • Damaging trees by striking them with heavy equipment. 

Equipment operators need to care about the trees that make Lake James what it is.  These trees are not theirs to damage.
  • Damaged roads from loading, unloading, and moving machinery. 

The use of plywood or 2x's can prevent most damage.  Also heavy truck and trailer tires should never be pivoted on the pavement. Vehicles should always be moving when being turned.
  • Concrete trucks must always clean out on your construction site or taken out of the community. 

Concrete deposits on site are easy to remove once hardened.  Never rinse out into the street drainage!  This either hardens in the pipes or drains to the lake buffer.
  • Trash, from food, product wrappers, packaging.

It makes the site look like dump, it aggravates the neighbors, and can easily pollute neighboring lots and the Protected Lake Buffer.  If they do not have time to pick up after themselves, then they do not have time to work here.
  • Debris from construction materials.

 It also makes the site look like a dump, tends to get buried which is a violation, and creates a very dangerous site.
  • Trash and debris that has made its way to the lake side of the silt or orange fence.

  • A dumpster is required at every construction site. 

A dumpster that is over full looks bad, does not keep trash from being blown out, and may not be taken away by the waste company.
  • Parking should be in the road and not blocking access to the site or occupied neighbor lots. 

Where this is not possible arrange with the ACC/HRB manager where to park off the road.  This area used for parking must be repaired at the completion of the project.  All sub-contractors should be made aware of the proper place to park at your job site.
  • Driving too fast.

 These communities are not automotive or truck testing grounds and are private roads.  Habitual violators may be asked to work in the communities. 
  • Generally speaking, the sub-contractors are only concerned with doing their small portion without concern for the product as a whole. 

Examples of this are:
--> a plumber that vents on the front of the house or roofs.
--> a plumber, HVAC, or electrician tthat equipment/connections on the front of the house or far away from where needed by the next trade.
--> Satellite antenna installers and electricians doing electrical or telephone usually truly don't care about the look of their installation.
  • Utilities on the front of the house or in the front yard.
Bring utilities and services in to the house in place that works with the landscaping and architecture.  This is not necessarily where it is easiest for the sub.  The location of outdoor utilities must be thought through and monitored.  Outdoor utilities must be screened from view from the road, neighbors and the lake.  Creating a place for these items in advance as part of the original design can give you the control and satisfy the ACC/HRB without great agony.  Use retaining walls with vegetation to hide utilities; create a place for septic tanks, gas tanks, and the antenna and the coax.  Planning can create better places for these items in a way that is easier (and possibly less expensive) than "figuring it out" in the end.

Only regular visits to the job site by the GC will make the crews, subs, vendors, and services also do it right.  GC's that don't visit often will have a variety of problems through the job and with the final product.

The ACC/HRB and the home owners truly appreciate your attention to details like these.  It does make a difference.




Related Sites:
Crescent Communities on Lake James Catawba Valley Property Management (CVPM) Camp Lake James
Burke County 1780  FirstService Residential  OWC McDowell County

Copyright 2006-2015 Kirk Bowden; Bowxden Environments, LLC; All Rights Reserved.  -  All Rights Reserved - All photgraphs copyright Kirk Bowden;